Фотограф: Здравка Кокалова

Why coffee by harmonica?

If you know us, you are already aware that harmonica always strives for the best rather than choosing the easy way of industrial food production, no matter the challenges. Unsurprisingly, we therefore recognized coffee as a very motivating challenge. Among a sea of industrial producers, we managed to find several exceptional organic farms which are committed to quality. With their help, we offer the best coffee without compromises, on taste or environmental impact, which has become part of our everyday life. Since we place a high value on teamwork, we have partnered up with one of the best experts in the field of coffee, Master Jordan Dabov. From him, we have learned a lot about the field and with his support, we have found some remarkable organic farmers on the other side of the planet.

Why is harmonica coffee ‘special’?

Firstly, let us clarify that ‘specialty’ isn’t a marketing word that we use to make our coffee sound more attractive. ‘Specialty’ is a term within the industry and a coffee production standard. Only coffee scoring 80 points or above at the prestigious competition, “The Cup of Excellence”, earns the title ‘specialty coffee.’ To be graded so highly, coffee must be grown under perfect conditions (sunshine, altitude, microclimate, soil with fertilizer, and compost). What is more, it needs to have excellent flavor without any defects. ‘Specialty coffee’ is a title awarded to only 5% of the worldwide coffee production. The rest is average commercial coffee. We won’t lie to you – we are proud to be working within that 5%.

Blossoming coffee plants in Guatemala.

Why is harmonica coffee organic?

Because organic coffee farms put great emphasis on sustainability and care of the environment. Moreover, they contribute to the conservation of unique regional biodiversity. An organic farm uses the coffee pulp as well as poultry manure and compost to enrich the soil. Organic coffee grows in the shade of higher vegetation. It is the shade that provides ideal conditions for plants and animals to grow. Therefore, the regional ecosystems thrive with life and organic coffee farms remarkably resemble wild forests. Here are some examples to compare what happens in a non-organic coffee farm:

  • Conventional coffee farming is among the most soil polluting industries. A coffee farm uses more than 200 different synthetic enhancers, herbicides, and pesticides.
  • Traditionally, coffee grows in shady places. However, sunshine-resistant hybrid coffee varieties are being created to make a place for agriculture by cutting down forests. The lack of shade forces the use of chemicals to protect the plants from pests. Synthetic pesticides compensate for the loss of natural enemies (birds and lizards die off due to habitat loss). At the same time, direct sunshine harms the flavor of the coffee beans.
  • Without trees, which is a natural barrier to heavy rains, the uppermost fertile soil layer is washed away, the soil degrades, and erosion begins. Due to the latter, in conventional coffee farming, the land requires ‘enriching’ with chemicals and artificial fertilizers.

Although more difficult and challenging, we consider organic farming to be the right and humane approach. So, making the sensible choice isn’t as hard as it looks. Without a doubt, we choose organic agriculture, guaranteed high quality, exceptional flavor and aroma, health, and life.

Where does harmonica coffee grow?

Santa Rita farm is located in Guatemala, in the Chimaltenango area of the San Miguel region. Founded in 1870, the farm is spread across 96 hectares, next to 300 hectares of natural forest, 1800 m above sea level. There, Señor Dariusch Echeverria (a fifth-generation farmer) grows Arabica Bourbon. Santa Rita farm holds a certificate for organic farming, a Rainforest Alliance certificate for forest conservation, and a Bird Friendly certificate from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. You know, these things matter to us! Every fruit is picked selectively by hand, guaranteeing complete quality control (as it is with most specialty coffee varieties). Cherry by cherry, only the well-ripened fruit is harvested so that coffee tastes neither acidic nor bitter.

Coffee fruit is picked selectively by hand, cherry by cherry. Only the well-ripened fruit is gathered so that the coffee tastes neither acidic, nor bitter.

What about coffee processing?

Coffee processing is as crucial as picking. Santa Rita farm uses the wet process. Firstly, the pulp is removed, and beans are placed in water tanks to ferment. After fermentation, the beans are washed and left to dry. Then, they are sorted by size and weight. There is one final check for beans with defects and the beans are prepared for transportation. Soon after, they arrive in Sofia.

The wet process is used for the production of coffee beans. The pulp is removed, and the coffee beans ferment in water. Then, they are dried and sorted.

How are the coffee beans roasted?

Once the carefully selected and processed coffee beans arrive in Sofia, the time comes for roasting, performed by Dabov. A Loring roasting machine guarantees each bean is evenly roasted without affecting the quality. Roasting is done in small batches of 12 kg. Thus, the flavor and aroma of each bean are flawless.

During the entire production process, from picking to packing, high-quality control ensures the removal of beans with defects.

Why is packaging significant?

Packing is crucial! It must be done almost immediately after roasting, within sixty minutes. We have chosen three-layer aluminum foil with the lowest possible permeability and a one-sided valve that allows carbon dioxide to come out and prevents oxygen from getting inside. The coffee remains as fresh as possible, and the aroma is preserved for the next few months.

When is coffee most fragrant?

The peak of coffee aromas is 45 days after roasting. After that, coffee gradually loses its fragrance, a process that takes place until six months after roasting. When buying, instead of looking at the shelf life date, check the roasting date.

We have chosen packages that guarantee coffee stays fresh for as long as possible. However, the peak of coffee aroma is around the 45th day after roasting. When buying, check the roasting date.

How to prepare harmonica coffee?

We produce two types of coffee – whole-bean and ground. Coffee enthusiasts can either grind it at home, according to the method of preparation, or choose ground coffee for Turkish coffee or espresso machines. Add slightly warmed milk by harmonica, and you won’t regret the experience. Coffee tastes incredible when filtered (best when using a Chemex coffeemaker). It’s truly an explosion of flavor! With its thick and creamy body, you’ll taste the cherry and raspberry aroma, followed by a robust and sweet aftertaste. We wish you many pleasant moments with this drink!

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